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Introduction of new smart Hong Kong identity card and territory-wide identity card replacement exercise

Posted in: Press Releases

October 18, 2018

The Immigration Department (ImmD) will start to issue new smart Hong Kong identity cards (HKICs) next month.

"Starting from Monday, November 26, 2018, if a person applies for an HKIC at any one of the Registration of Persons (ROP) Offices, he or she will receive a new form of smart HKIC," an ImmD spokesman said today (October 18).

This covers HKIC applications from persons who need to apply for a juvenile identity card upon reaching the age of 11; persons who have to apply for an adult identity card upon reaching the age of 18; new arrivals; persons whose identity cards have been lost, destroyed, damaged or defaced; and persons who wish to amend the particulars printed on their HKICs.

The spokesman further announced that the upcoming territory-wide identity card replacement exercise will start on Thursday, December 27, 2018. Holders of existing smart HKICs will be invited to attend one of the nine newly established Smart Identity Card Replacement Centres (SIDCCs) in phases, in accordance with their year of birth, to have their HKICs replaced within specified periods. No fee will be charged for new smart HKICs issued under the replacement exercise.

"The nine SIDCCs are all situated in convenient locations (Annex) and are easily accessible by public transport. They will be open from Mondays to Saturdays (except Sundays and public holidays), from 8am to 10pm," the spokesman added.

It is estimated that the replacement exercise will last about four years. The Secretary for Security will issue an Order to announce the details of the first cycle. Subject to the normal negative vetting procedure of the Legislative Council, the arrangement will be as follows:

Eligible Persons  Period
Members of the Immigration Service, police officers and labour inspectors

December 27, 2018
- March 30, 2019

Holders of existing HKICs who were born in 1985 or 1986

January 21, 2019
- March 30, 2019

Holders of existing HKICs who were born in 1968 or 1969

April 1, 2019
- June 1, 2019

The spokesman explained that, as with the last replacement exercise, the first cycle would begin by first replacing the smart HKICs of members of the Immigration Service, police officers and labour inspectors, allowing them to get familiar with the features of new smart HKICs for fighting against illegal immigration and illegal employment. Also, the Order has provided the Chief Executive, members of the Executive Council and the Legislative Council, and Principal Officials with an option to apply for the new smart HKICs at the same stage to further promote the new smart HKICs.  

In view of the demographic changes of Hong Kong, and to make the arrangement more convenient to the public, in particular groups in need, the following new facilitation measures will be introduced in the replacement exercise:

(a) The HKIC holders who are invited under their age groups may bring along two family members or friends aged 65 or above (born in 1954 or before) to replace their smart HKICs together during the same visit, so that these elderly persons need not proceed to the SIDCCs separately by themselves when their respective age groups are called up for HKIC replacement at a later stage; and

(b) For the first time an on-site identity card replacement service will be introduced at specified residential care homes for elderly persons and persons with disabilities (RCHs). In addition to replacing their HKICs at the SIDCCs in the period specified for their age groups, residents of the relevant RCHs may choose to have their HKICs replaced on-site at the RCHs. Starting from the second quarter of 2019, ImmD will roll out the on-site identity card replacement service by visiting the RCHs concerned throughout the territory in phases.

ImmD will also make better use of technology to enhance convenience and efficiency. With effect from October 29, members of the public may make appointments and prefill forms on the Internet before visiting the ROP Offices or the SIDCCs, so that they may save queuing time and enjoy a faster registration process. In addition, ImmD's Mobile Application will provide relevant services from November 26. Furthermore, self-service registration kiosks and self-service collection kiosks will be introduced to provide more convenient services to the public.

Publicity will be conducted through various channels to explain to members of the public the details of the new smart HKICs and the replacement exercise prior to its launch and throughout the exercise.

Hong Kong residents who are presently overseas need not rush back to Hong Kong solely for replacement of their HKICs. They can do so within 30 days after their return to Hong Kong if they have missed their turn. Meanwhile, the existing arrangement for issuing the Certificate of Exemption to the aged, the blind or the infirm who are in Hong Kong but are unable to replace their identity cards in person remains unchanged.

For enquiries, please contact ImmD by calling the enquiry hotline at 2824 6111, by fax to 2877 7711 or by email to


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